Cross Cultural Worker in Northern India
Dustin & Mallary are serving in India providing support to those who are living in devastating poverty through opportunities to provide training and employment for products sold around the world. Dustin & Mallary are co-founders for Ziyada.
In North India, the lack of sustainable industry in our area, unemployment and poverty are very real struggles. Here, access to clean water, electricity, education, health care and adequate housing is a luxury most cannot afford. These challenges have led us to start a business in this specific neighborhood because we believe that industry is not simply dependent upon infrastructure and ease, but can be used by God for community transformation, justice and empowerment.
At Ziyada, every woman is trained as an artisan in hand-spinning yarn, embroidery and sewing. Every employee earns a fair, living wage for their work, has access to health care for themselves and their children, and enjoys a work environment where people are loved, skills are developed, and ethical practices are affirmed.
Ziyada (Zee-yah-duh) means more—more hope, more help, more happiness, more health—for you and for our world. Ziyada exists to provide meaningful employment in a safe, loving environment for people caught in the devastating cycle of extreme poverty in North India, and in the process, to bring you more quality and beauty through each good we create.
Ziyada has been in operation for over 7 years now, and currently employs 25 people! We’ve been blessed to see the vision that God gave us come to life.
Meet Graysen in Thailand
Graysen is a Lubbock, Texas transplant in Thailand, visiting several years ago and falling in love with the people and the community. He realized early that there was a lack of education and love for the children in his community and began teaching children along the side of the busy streets. Through years of prayers and working within the community he has now started a program called SYNG or often referred to as NewGen that provides tutoring, mentoring, and fellowship with children and college kids in the community that need a little extra help. Graysen loves these children and works to develop relationships with their families showing them the love of Jesus Christ and helping them to see the full potential of their child. He has engaged volunteers from all over the community, including students at the local university, physicians in the community, and business people – those who want to make a difference in the lives of these young people in Thailand.
The Fischer Family are serving in the Balkans. They are a young family with two little girls and one newborn son. Their focus is youth and young adult ministry. They have served for almost four years and realize that they are still learning the cultures and the ways of the people they serve. Mom relates that this became very evident this year when she went into the hospital to deliver the newborn son. She had talked with all the moms in the community who she has made friends with and thought she knew what to expect, however, she describes the event as very traumatic.
You see this family spent a year totally submersed in the people in the culture learning the language, learning the ways of the people before they were officially allowed to begin their ministry. They went into this knowing also that they cannot call it a ministry – they are called community cultural workers. They are working in a very restricted Muslim area that claims to not be opposed to Christian beliefs, however, they are often restricted, and the families face difficulties in their community when it becomes evident to the “powers that be” that they are spreading the love of Jesus Christ. They never know who they can trust until they realize that they can trust them. What a scary way to live life while trying to do what God has called you to do!
The Fischer have found a unique calling in working with the youth and young adults in their community and surrounding areas. They offer them a leadership training program through a program called Elevate Outdoor Adventure and Leadership. They offer four classroom type settings and end the class with a hike in the mountains. The most amazing thing about hiking together is that it really breaks down walls and opens doors for deep conversations. The students feel more open and free to talk when they are in the mountains and away from the constant infiltration of the government. The students opened conversations about different religions and the attributes of God during the hike. The Fischers were able to find out more about what the students believe and to share Kingdom work with them. The Fischer said in their newsletter – “Praise God for the mountains!”
The specific prayer request from the Fischer family includes:
- Their ability to secure all the appropriate paperwork from the cumbersome bureaucratic systems in place to allow them to apply for American citizenship for their newborn child.
- Health and healing for Mom after delivery of their newborn son.
- For their students and the barriers that they face each day especially in being able to know and worship God.
Meet the Wiegerts. We serve in Trujillo, Peru. We work with another family that serves there doing church planting and discipleship. Our main focus right now is a small fair-trade business that we started about a year and a half ago. We currently have 4 employees. We hire women that live in the area our church is in. This offers them financial independence from men and allows them the opportunity to learn a skill. Because of Covid, we are currently in the States. However, our ladies continue to work. Our head worker is a great manager and has done an excellent job managing the other workers and staying in contact with us. It’s been very important to us that they continue to work. We sell their products at craft shows and have a few small businesses that carry our products. We have recently started a Facebook page with our products. It’s called “Ella Handiworks” if you would like to check it out.